Fibronectin (Fn) and type I collagen (Col) were immobilized on a surface of a hydroxyapatite (HAP) ceramic by coprecipitation with calcium phosphate in a supersaturated calcium phosphate solution prepared by mixing clinically approved infusion fluids. These proteins and the calcium phosphate precipitate formed a composite surface layer. As a result, the proteins were immobilized firmly as not to be released completely for 3 d in a physiological salt solution. When human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) were cultured on a HAP ceramic in a differentiation medium supplemented with dexamethasone, β-glycerophosphate and ascorbic acid, hMSCs spread well within 1 h. The alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity of hMSCs cultured on the Fn-calcium phosphate composite layer significantly increased compared with that of hMSCs cultured on the untreated HAP ceramic. On the other hand, Col did not increase the ALP activity of hMSCs and no synergy between Fn and Col was observed. Therefore, the Fn-calcium phosphate composite layer formed on the HAP is useful for the enhancement of the spreading and osteogenic differentiation of hMSCs in vitro.
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